Major League Soccer is coming to Sacramento… finally.
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After nearly five years of waiting while flashier markets like Miami and Los Angeles scooped expansion bid after expansion bid, Sacramento was awarded an expansion franchise on Monday. Sacramento Republic FC, the existing team in USL Championship, will make the leap to MLS in 2022 in a brand new downtown stadium.
The stadium, which will be situated in the Railyards District as “a centerpiece of a redevelopment project” on the northwest corner of downtown Sacramento, will seat just over 20,000 fans and is expected to cost $300 million
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The 20th largest media market in the United States, Sacramento sent a message to the North American soccer community in 2014 when the debut of their USL club saw a capacity crowd of more than 20,000 fans pack Hughes Stadium for the inaugural match of Sacramento Republic FC. Since then, they sold out match after match for Republic FC and established a new standard at the USL level. In the USL, Republic FC has set league records in many business metrics, including season ticket sales and merchandising, and have hosted exhibition matches against top international clubs.
With the addition of the MLS team in Sacramento, 19 clubs have joined MLS since 2005, fulfilling a vision for strategic expansion that has transformed the landscape of professional soccer across North America. Republic FC will add another major professional sports franchise to the city, joining the National Basketball Association’s Kings. It will be the fourth MLS club in California, following the LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and LAFC.